Content marketing has gone from being the future of digital marketing, to the here and now, but where does social media sit within the overall content marketing mix?
Our view on social’s role in content marketing is threefold:
Social should play a key role in informing content strategy
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and so on are all valid platforms that should be used as part of your content strategy
Social media (particularly Facebook) has a unique ability to amplify your content placed on other channels
Social Media’s Role In Informing Content Strategy
Social data is an absolute core component of creating a content strategy. From deciding what to create content about, to the weighting of that content within your overall plan, the data you can pull from social should be integral to your thoughts.
There’s a whole host of great tools you can use to get insight in-house, such as:
Instagram also announced a book entitled The Instagram Handbook for Brands, which profiles eleven especially engaging brands and features ten popular hashtags that illuminate the community’s dynamism. Though its content won’t be widely available, Instagram will roll out certain findings.
Five top tips from Instagram’s favorite accounts include:
1. To thine own self, be true. For instance, eyeglass retailer Warby Parker’s images “never feel overly staged or serious,” Instagram said, but aptly express the brand’s quirky voice.
2. Prize experiences. Why feature simple product shots when brands can offer a penetrating glimpse into the experiences they can provide? The consumer-shot images and videos on GoPro’s account, for example, give a fuller sense of the company’s essence.
O, the cawing and the self-directed cooing. Two recent events on Twitter have breathed new life into the question: At what point does jaunty confidence metastasize into abject bragging?
On Jan. 25, the singer Rod Stewart asked his more-than-155,000 followers, “Anyone else have a child in each of the last 5 decades?” He then went on to list “60s Sarah/70s Kim/80s Sean, Ruby/90s Renee, Liam/00s Alastair, Aiden” — an act that, in the animal world, would be achieved by puffing up one’s chest or by raising the feathers on one’s head in a scarifying “crest erection.”
Meanwhile, Howard Wolfson, a deputy mayor under Michael R. Bloomberg and the former chief press officer for Hillary Rodham Clinton, has been promoting his own personal tweets on Twitter — i.e., paying the social media site to have the tweets appear more prominently in his followers’ feeds. When Gawker reported on Mr. Wolfson’s auto-largesse, one reader commented, “It can be oddly soul soothing to click the ‘report as spam’ button for folks like this.”
Audience engagement is the definitive measure of a blog's success, whether you're blogging for a marketing firm or simply to indulge your own interests. You've probably watched as some posts go viral while others sit quietly in the corner.
But engaging a readership doesn't mean churning out clickable links. By all accounts, your blog needs substance. It needs to nourish your readers.
LinkedIn Marketing Solutions recommends treating your blog like you would your diet, incorporating a healthy balance of content based on five food groups.
By providing a mix of how-to and influencer posts (whole wheat and grains), leadership articles and guest topics (vegetables), research and analysis (meats), light-hearted viral content (dessert and sweets) and bold statements (condiments), your blog will engage readers and, where applicable, hook potential customers. In fact, a recent Hubspot report found that 82% of marketers who blogged daily saw an upswing in ROI.
By now, most businesses have some type of social media presence. For many businesses, however, especially small and medium-sized businesses, social media is still treated as an afterthought. As a result, too many businesses are still posting to social media channels in a hit-or-miss, nearly random fashion; they don't track their results, they don't analyze their content to see how it could be improved, and oftentimes, they don't even know which channels are right for them and which aren't.
Businesses that already have social media marketing teams should use 2014 to make sure they're getting the best results from their teams. Businesses that don't have a team should make one. Here's how to build and use a social media team in 2014.
Develop a Strategy That Integrates Social with the Whole Business
Before you charge off to hire a young hot-shot social media marketing whiz, the decision-makers in your business need to sit down to talk about how social media can be integrated into all areas of the business, and then you need to develop a social strategy that focuses on that integration.
For example, businesses like Best Buy recognized early on that Twitter was a great medium for customer service. They were one of first of several enterprise-class businesses that pioneered the use of Twitter for responding to customer questions and customer complaints.
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